top of page

Are Black Writers Being Short Changed in Hollywood: Its Just Not Adding Up

Eric Monte and Mike Evans are two Black writers who are often overlooked for their contributions to the iconic television show "Good Times." Despite being credited with creating the show, they have struggled to receive the recognition they deserve.

In addition, Monte has also claimed that Norman Lear, the producer of "Good Times," stole his idea for another popular show, "The Jeffersons." Monte eventually received a $1 million settlement for this alleged theft, but he believes that he was blacklisted from Hollywood as a result.

It is important to acknowledge the significant impact that Monte and Evans had on the television industry, particularly during a time when Black voices were not often heard or represented on screen. "Good Times" was groundbreaking in its portrayal of a working-class Black family living in a housing project in Chicago.

The show tackled important social issues such as poverty, racism, and unemployment, while also providing audiences with humor and heartwarming moments.

Despite their contributions to the success of "Good Times," Monte and Evans have not received the recognition they deserve.

This lack of acknowledgment is a reflection of the systemic racism that has long existed in Hollywood, where Black creators and artists are often marginalized and overlooked.

It is essential that we recognize and celebrate the talent and creativity of Black writers like Monte and Evans, who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry.

In addition to their struggles with recognition, Monte has also faced challenges in asserting his ownership of his ideas.

His claim that Norman Lear stole his idea for "The Jeffersons" is a troubling example of the exploitation and erasure of Black creativity in Hollywood. The fact that Monte was eventually awarded a settlement for this theft is a small victory, but it does not erase the harm that was done to him and his career.

Norman Lear, a white producer who was responsible for creating several successful shows featuring Black characters in the 70s and 80s, has been praised for his contributions to television history. However, it is important to recognize that Lear's success was built on the backs of Black writers and creators like Monte and Evans, who often did not receive the credit or compensation they deserved.

The stories of Eric Monte and Mike Evans serve as a reminder of the challenges that Black creators have faced in Hollywood. Their struggles with recognition and ownership of their ideas highlight the need for greater diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. It is essential that we acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of Black writers and creators, and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable industry for all.

15 views1 comment




Ok this is crazy.

bottom of page